hello monday: vol. 6

Hello Monday. It was a rather slow start to the week.

Unlike the vast majority of people, I did not watch the Super Bowl last night because I have no interest in the game of football as a whole, but a combination of poor and limited sleep on both Saturday and Sunday nights meant I very much wanted to ignore my alarm when it went off this morning and would gladly have traded in today for another day in the weekend.

 
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Mornings, in general, are not easy for me. I don't like them unless it's after 10am, which is like the first half of the day's equivalent to evening. You know, it's not really afternoon still but it's also not night either? That is the only kind of morning I really like. 

Mondays, in general, are not easy for a lot of people. They're become easier for me since I started running my own business and thus actually enjoying my job, but they're still not my favorite day of the week. Sometimes my focus is completely lacking and sometimes (like today), I am still so utterly exhausted from the weekend I want to crawl back in bed before noon.

So in the spirit of Mondays being hard (and also my brain not totally working the way I would like it to), on this first Monday in February, I thought I'd share a few things that have made me happy over the first few weeks of 2018.

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND BY CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN

It took me a little while to choose my first read of the year because it had some pretty big shoes to fill. I wound up starting both 2016 and 2017 with 5-star reads and I hoped to continue the pattern in 2018. Eventually I landed on The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

I'd heard incredible things about the book before I picked it up and, having now read it, it's no wonder I absolutely fell in love. Part historical fiction, part literary fiction, and part mystery, it's a combination of my three favorite genres and filled with all the things I love about literature — beautiful writing, complex characters, captivating story, twists and turns, and wonderful themes to ponder.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN SOUNDTRACK

Yes, practically everyone has been talking about The Greatest Showman since before it even came out and for good reason. 

I fully recognize there are some major ethical issues involving the start of the circus and a lot of the things portrayed in the movie are probably not super accurate. But the soundtrack? The soundtrack is absolutely delightful. The songs are catchy, the orchestration is fabulous, and the harmonies are on point (looking at your Zac Efron and Zandaya).

I saw the movie for the second time this past weekend and told my baby sister before it started that she would perpetually have the soundtrack stuck in her head for a good while after she saw it. Her conclusion? Yep. Songs stuck in her head forever and ever.

CUTE, COMFY LOUNGEWEAR

As of the beginning of this year, I officially joined the ranks of people who work from home all the time. 

I've never considered myself a major fashionista or anything and I have absolutely no issue wearing yoga pants and oversized t-shirts because I actively reject the idea that beauty is pain and comfort is always a top priority in picking my clothing. That being said, I have definitely noticed a difference in the my focus, concentration, and general feelings toward myself when I'm dressed cute but comfy as opposed to grungy and comfy.

And so the comfy but cute loungewear I've started adding to my collection has been fabulous because I feel like I look great while being comfortable enough to fall asleep in whatever I'm wearing. It's the best of both worlds!

MUSICAL WAKE UPS COURTESY OF SONOS & SPOTIFY

I received a Sonos Play:1 speaker for my birthday this year and it is all the things I expected — beautiful sound quality and great volume that makes it super easy to play music from anywhere.

The best part? Musical alarms with Spotify playlists. 

Lately I've been kicking off my day with my Soundtracks & Scores playlist which starts with the soundtrack from the 2015 Cinderella and y'all, let me tell you, it's been fabulous. 

THIS IS US

I know, I know. Everyone is talking about it. But for good reason.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a super huge TV or movie person. Historically, I have vastly preferred books over both. But This Is Us? This Is Us is fantastic and wonderful and I absolutely adore it.

Interestingly enough, I don't cry as much as everyone else seems to, even though I cry way more than the average person does about other things, but tears present or not, the show is written beautifully, acted beautifully, and just the kind of story about loss and love and family and life that I believe we so desperately need right now.

My favorite stories are most often the ones that are just about people living their lives — ordinary people leading extraordinary lives because of how they live and love. And that's what This Is Us is all about.